Monday, November 30

and now I ask for your help

I have two questions. One, am I supposed to get Alexis' teacher something for Christmas? I do not know the etiquette on these things, and I would have no idea what to give her anyway. So, input please.

Two. Does it make me a mean mom or a good mom that I let Alexis go to school with her hair fixed like this?
I hope it is obvious to you that she fixed it herself. I've written before about her independence (and if I would put tags on my dumb blog it would be a whole lot easier to find these posts that I reference!), but since her hair has been short we haven't had too many encounters with funny looking hair. Unbrushed hair, sure, but not necessarily funny looking. She came out of the bathroom this morning asking how it looked, with just a little trepidation in her voice. She obviously wasn't sure if it was cute, but I just couldn't crush her. I told her it was interesting, she was satisfied with that, and I couldn't find a nice way to tell her that I should fix her hair. So off she went like that to school. And I would like honest opinions on if that is mean of me to send her so goofy looking. Remember, she is 5.

Saturday, November 28

on the pregnancy

I have had a great few days! Jeremy had work off yesterday--we can't remember the last time he took the day after Thanksgiving off. Which means for two whole days in a row he was home in the morning. I haven't even had one day with him home in the morning for at least two months (not a complaint, he's doing good things), so I felt especially spoiled. Mornings have become harder for me during this pregnancy, and most mornings I just wish someone else was there to get up and get the kids breakfast. I don't know why, it's not like pouring a bowl of cereal is particularly hard, but it sure was nice to have some else do it for me. And, get this, he made BACON. And EGGS! And then he DID THE DISHES! It was heaven on earth, and I am dead serious about that. He's home all day today too (minus the football game he's off playing in right now), so I'd say we can mark this up as one of the best weekends ever.

Now, I do not intend to make this blog all about my pregnancy (though that is definitely the reason my blogging has slowed way down), but I do need to state a few facts. Not complaints, FACTS!

1. Even though I wrote this post awhile back that made it sound like I wasn't ready for more kids yet, I am indeed ready. I would not have been ready to have another one when Tyler was two, but he'll be 3 1/2, and Alexis will be almost 6. For these reasons I have not yet gotten nervous about having a third. I am very very excited for this baby. Possibly the only person more excited than me is Alexis.

2. Alexis is so excited that she immediately (upon hearing the news) started making lists of things we need for the baby. Then she got a plastic bag and put in a bottle, a bib, a baby spoon, and a baby blanket and is storing it under her bed until the baby makes its arrival. A few days after hearing the news, she got upset with me about something and started to threaten me with: "If you don't let me do that, when the baby gets here it won't be mine and yours, it'll just be..." I cut her off there so I don't know if she was threatening to steal the baby from me or refusing to help me with the baby. She is also very excited about being able to hold the baby while standing up since she'll be such a big girl.

3. We will find out the gender of the baby. I used to always say that when I had my third I'd make it a surprise since I'm prepared for either, but, come on. That just won't work with me. If I can know something, I have to know it! I'm very nosy that way. I'd be happy with either boy or girl, but I'm leaning more towards wanting a girl, only because I just did the boy thing, and it's been awhile since I've had a baby girl. But really, as long as it sleeps like an angel, it could be an alien and I'd be happy.

4. I have been functioning at less than half capacity since the beginning of October. Remember this post? That was due to pregnancy. In fact, one night my Relief Society Presidency stopped by to drop off some cookies and to visit. I was very fortunate that it was during the 20 minutes out of the whole week that I had left the house because my house was a DISASTER. I'm not the type that has to have it spotless and I don't get embarrassed by much, but if they had come in I probably would have died of embarrassment. The kitchen sink was piled with dishes. The couch was turned on end, made into a fort. Toys were scattered everywhere, and I'm sure there were piles of laundry waiting to be folded. So while I'm sorry I didn't get to visit with them, I'm very glad I had a food craving that called me out of the house.

5. This pregnancy has been different than the other two. I've had constant nauseousness, which I'm starting to come out of, that I did not have with the other two. And it sure makes it hard to get anything done. Also, my skin has broken out like crazy! I feel like I'm 17 again and it's ridiculous. And frankly, my boobs are pretty big. Is it normal for things to get weirder with each successive pregnancy??

6. I'm 12 weeks. Due June 11th. Guess what that means for my swimming season?

Alright, that's enough on the pregnancy. I hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving, and I hope we can all carry the thanks we feel in our hearts into this next season, when we celebrate the thing we should be very most thankful for.

Monday, November 23

with a happy ending

A real tragedy has occurred. I have a half eaten bag of candy corn in my pantry, and it's been there for months! (That is the tragedy.) I love candy corn, I eat it all year round. But it's particularly nice during Halloween because it's more abundant, and I swear it's softer. So starting in September I kick the candy corn eating up a notch. But this year, about the middle of October, I noticed I had no appetite for the stuff. I still tried, knowing how deep my love for it was, but the littlest bite would make me gag. And since Jeremy doesn't like it, there it sits, just waiting for me to want it again. I don't know when that will be, but I suspect it might happen in June--after another little one of these arrives:

(And that is not a tragedy, it is exciting!)

Friday, November 20

all wrapped up in sugar and sweetness

It's a little after 5 am, and I'm up because Tyler was cold. Then I couldn't fall back asleep because I had a bone to pick with someone. And then I tried to take my mind off that so I started thinking about an incident we had with Alexis right before bed, which I also tried to put out of my mind, but then a blog post began to form. I continued to try and ignore it, until the snoring began. That was my cue to get up.

**Disclaimer: This was not the normal kind of "incident" we used to have Alexis. Have I mentioned that since kindergarten began life has been so much easier? I think she was just bored before, and would act out of boredom, but now school gives her so many things to occupy her mind with there's little room left to find ways to act out and generally be impossible. Also, I'm going to try and write this as delicately as possible so you don't think badly of Alexis. I love my daughter, she is my world, and I think she is one of the most marvelous creatures to ever grace this world.**

Let me tell you something about Alexis that will make it easier to understand why I keep thinking about what happened last night. Alexis is manipulative-which is such an ugly word, but it's not an ugly thing in a 5 year old. She is intelligent, shrewd (both synonyms of manipulative), determined, and relentless. My goodness is she relentless. The child has the ability to talk you out of the pants you are wearing if she wants them bad enough (so maybe don't wear pink pants with rainbows on them when around her). While some days it wears on me, I don't consider any of this to be a bad thing. I think it has the potential to be bad years down the road, but fortunately, coupled with her strong abilities is a kind heart. That kind heart will make all the difference in how she uses her super powers. (And hopefully Jeremy and I will do our jobs right in teaching her honest and correct principles that will help as well.) But for now, because Alexis is so persistent and persuasive (there, that's a better word!), she is used to getting what she wants (from other people--not from me). Which leads me to last night:

Since it's been cold lately the kids have been sleeping with extra blankets. The first night this happened Alexis slept with a fleece blanket with a Bronco's print on it that Tyler got for Christmas. The second night Tyler wanted to sleep with it, I think mostly because Alexis did. Since it is his, we made her give it to him. Every night since then there is a dispute over it. Alexis tries to sneak it up to her bed hoping Tyler won't notice, but Tyler always asks for it. We always make her give it to him (it is his!), and she always tries to find a way out of it. Last night I told her to look in the linen closet for another fleece blanket--one that is just as soft. She finally went to the closet, spent several minutes comparing the softness of a few different blankets and then pulled down a blue one with yellow flowers. I commended her on her choice to which she replied, "Oh, it's not for me. It's for Tyler". The she marched back to her room and tried and tried, with all her special ways, to convince Tyler that he'd rather sleep with the flowery blanket.

Tyler, like Jeremy and I, has become immune to her ways.

After that a crying fit ensued, the likes of which I have not seen in a very long time. Which is when my mothering heart broke. I sat there watching this little girl who so badly wanted a blanket, who is so accustomed to getting what she wants, cry her little heart out. It took all the restraint I had to not go take it from Tyler and give it to her.

I knew Tyler only wanted it because Alexis did, and I knew he wouldn't cry as much as she was. But I also knew that was wrong. I knew that it was his, and she needed to learn that. I knew that if I gave in last night, I'd give in more often, and more often would turn to always. I knew that if she didn't learn now that she can't always have what she wants, her life would be very, very hard. And I knew that if I set her up for that kind of life, I would be a failure as a parent.

So I sat there and watched her cry, and determined that one of the hardest parts of being a parent is not being able to always give them what they want. Sure she was crying over something silly today, but in 10 years she'll be crying over not getting the part in the play, or not making the team she tried out for, or something more serious and more ego inflicting. And just like last night, I'll only be able to watch her as she cries, cry a little myself, and do my best to help her pick up and carry on. Oy, the job of a parent. Is there anything harder?

P.S. If you are a relatively new reader and want to know why tomorrow, November 21st, is a special day, read what I wrote in 2007 here, and in 2008 here. At present I don't feel the need to write about it again, but I do never know when the mood will strike me.

Wednesday, November 18

boys will be boys

I had a whole post typed up about the nature of little boys. Mostly pondering on why they are the way they are and admitting that I don't entirely understand them. Tyler is often described by others as "all boy", meaning he loves all the typical boy things: cars, balls, sports, dirt, etc. But that post didn't feel right, so I left it for awhile and went out in the backyard with Tyler.

We have a little tree that dropped leaves, for the first time, and Tyler asked me to rake them into a pile so that he could jump in them. I watched him jump over and over, with hardly any leaves to pad his bottom, and realized how glad I am to be a mother to a boy. He introduces so many things into my life that I might not otherwise experience. Sure I don't understand why certain things make him happy, I'm just glad that he is happy.

But I do have a few things that I wonder about when it comes to my little Ty-guy.

1. How did he end up with such a need to wrestle? He has an actual need for it, as real as his need to eat, sleep, and poop.

2. How come boys just know how to mimic the sound of any kind of engine? I swear it must come hard wired in their brain.

3. How do they know about bad guys, weapons, and killing if you've never introduced it to them?

These are some of the things I wonder. I'll never really figure it out, since I have the mind, feelings and logic of a girl, but I do know being the mother to a little boy is a real pleasure! And I'm really glad that he's still little. He'll always be a boy, but he won't always come to me when he's hurt, he won't always ask me silly questions, and he won't always let me pat his little bum to my heart's content.

As the saying goes, thank Heaven for little boys.

P.S. Alexis introduces me to plenty of new things too. For instance, did you know it's possible for girls to like boys as young as the age of 5? She has a boy named Max in her class, and when she talks about him she has a goofy love struck look on her face. And her favorite part about him? His smile!! Please do not ask her about this, I'm trying to not encourage it! Thank Heaven for little girls?? Yes, I do thank Heaven for her, and then I pray for help.

P.P.S. I'm approaching post #300. Any suggestions on what I should do to celebrate? Or should I let it pass quietly by? At the rate I'm posting these days it probably won't happen for a month anyway...

Thursday, November 12

sail a family

Someday, when I'm perfect, I will forever be aware of how lucky I am. Today, when I'm not perfect, I get bogged down by responsibilities and forget to look for the joy in life. Which is really ridiculous because joy is abundant in my life. But thankfully I have lots of good friends in the same stage of life as me, with the same values and direction as me, who remind me what life is about.

It is about this:

When you look at this picture, there's lots of things you could see.
1. You could see kids in pajamas (one in wintry type, one in summery type).
2. You could see a mess.
3. You could see an air mattress and a pile of bedding, implying we had company (which we did).
4. Or you could see an ocean, a boat, a water trampoline, a bridge and some sharks (though they're invisible).

Today, the kids and I saw the last option. And we spent an hour jumping from place to place, trying to avoid the sharks, building bridges, and saving toys or little legs that would fall into the ocean.

As Alexis and Tyler get older they become more self entertaining. They are good to play together, and they are both good to play quietly by themselves. So I find myself becoming more the enforcer of rules, the getter of food, and the nagging voice telling them to clean up. Those things are all part of my job description, but also part of my job is getting on the floor and playing with my kids. And that last part, the most important part, is all too often lost in the shuffle of moving from one unimportant task to another. But showing them I love them, showing them I know how to have fun, and helping them build a strong imagination is a very important task. And so today, I feel pretty good about what I've done here. I just hope when Jeremy gets home tonight he also sees the ocean and boat!

Now go build a fort with your kids!

Saturday, November 7

some Saturday morning snipits

Jeremy is at work this morning. I checked the calendar, and it's been since October 3rd that he's been home in the morning. I'm talking any morning, weekday or weekend. He is far too busy, but I'm glad that he chooses to spend his downtime with us. He had a chance to go golfing this afternoon and the man turned it down without even checking with me. I feel a little bad because the weather has been GORGEOUS, but I'm really really glad he wants to come home and be with his family.

Have you heard of a show called "Dinosaur Train" on PBS? It's Ty-guy's new favorite, but it really is kind of annoying (though probably better than Caillou). Not to mention that I'm a little confused about dinosaurs, but it seems like all the "facts" they spout about the different dinosaurs is just a lot of guessing. Like, how do they know what kind of sounds dinosaurs made? So, anyway, this morning there was an episode on that was also on earlier this week, in which they explain that EVERY dinosaur poops. At the end they sing a little song about it, and now what's stuck in my head is "Every dinosaur poops!" (sung to a tune). While the other facts may be fuzzy, I'm thinking that one is probably accurate. Oh, and lucky you, I just found a link to it!

Along the same lines, in a continual effort to guarantee Tyler doesn't pee anywhere he's not supposed to, I tell him the characters on his underwear will be mad at him if he pees on them. So this morning he picked his Lightning McQueen underwear (his fave) and I said, "What will Lightning say if you pee on him?" His response is always somewhere along the lines of "Oh Boy! If you pee on me then I won't wear you anymore and I'll throw you in the garbage can and I'll be mad at you." Or he'll simply say "Oh Boy! I'm getting wet!" When he says it he's talking as if he's Lightning, and he always starts with "Oh Boy" but after that it can get a little confusing.

Last night Jeremy and I watched, "So I Married an Axe Murderer". Remember that movie? Yeah, I used to think it was funny, but this time around I was bored. Someone please tell me why people find Mike Myers funny? Or is it me? Have I lost my sense of humor? That could be, which would explain why my blogs been suffering lately. Sorry for posting less often, and probably for being less entertaining. Hopefully I'll get back to normal soon. Maybe you all should leave me a joke in the comments so I can see if I really have lost my sense of humor?

Wednesday, November 4

since you asked...

Usually, around October 29th, Jeremy will say to me, "What should I be for Halloween?" Sometimes he dresses up for work, other times for parties, but every time he asks me. I haven't figured this out, because I NEVER actually help him. Maybe I did the first few years we we're married, a mistake you newlyweds or unmarrieds should learn from. Anyway, he continues to ask, I continue to pretend like I'm thinking about it, and he eventually pulls something together last minute and it usually looks pretty good. This year instead of pretending like I'd help I just said, "I wish you would lose your Halloween spirit like I have, then life would be easier!" It would make my life easier because then I wouldn't have to feel the guilt of not really helping. But it would make him boring like me, so I guess I don't really want that. Usually my Halloween spirit extends far enough to get my kids dressed up as whatever they want to be (or whatever their dad wants them to be) and that's it. This year, for the ward party I made a headband that had bats flying off it. I figured since everyone else dressed up, I should at least try to be a little festive. So I wore it, and I probably left everyone wondering if I was supposed to "be" something. Someone finally asked me and I said, "I've been driven batty". There's a lot of truth in that.
So, sorry, but this is the only picture I have of me wearing it, and you can barely see it. Also, notice how my mouth is open? Moral support to Tyler in his donut eating contest.

Also, see below: Tyler makes a cute dinosaur too. And Alexis looks cool with half her head orange and the other half pink. Her idea, and a darn good one if you ask me. Also, they went trick or treating at grandma's house, with all their cousins. This was a lot of fun for them, as it's a holiday I don't think we've ever done with that side of the family.
A bull, a black panther (the animal kind), a witch, a dinosaur, Super Why, Princess Pea